Ryanair cancels flights after ‘messing up’ pilot Vacations
17 September 2017
From the section Business
Ryanair cancelled 82 flights on Sunday after admitting it had “awakened” the preparation of its pilots’ holidays.
The budget airline said on Saturday that it will cancel 40-50 flights every day for another six weeks.
Marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said customers up to 20 September was informed.
“We have awakened in the preparation of pilot holidays and we’re working hard to fix this,” he said.
The majority of the cancellations are because of a backlog of staff leave which has seen large numbers of the airline’s staff reserve holidays near the year’s end.
The airline is shifting its vacation season, which runs from April to March, to run from January to December.
Rynanair explained the change meant it had to allocate leave to pilots in September and October.
The cancellations could affect up to 285,000 passengers, who will be offered alternative flights or refunds.
Mr Jacobs said customers would have been sent an email.
“We advise customers to check the email address used to make their booking,” he added.
Ryanair has said that less than 2% of its flights would be cancelled and the move would allow it to hit at its punctuality goal of 90%.
But passengers have complained about the uncertainty.
— Patricia Toth (@patricia_zsofia) September 17, 2017
2% of your clients’ travel plans are in ruins. Because of lack of info, the other 98% are terrified! Done best PR ever, Micko!
— Paul Waldron (@majorvonwaldron) September 16, 2017
Gary Cummings was due to fly to Bratislava on Friday from Leeds morning.
From Ryanair he received a text message on Thursday night, saying his flight was cancelled.
The alternative flight was on Monday – when he was due to be returning to Leeds.
“We were left in limbo really,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.
But clients do have rights under the European Passenger Rights legislation.
“The rules say if the airline does not have a proper alternative flight, you have to get booked on a rival airline,” said Simon Calder, travel editor of the Independent.
He said passengers should be able to claim compensation.
“It is a really odd thing in terms of customer care, to say we want to enhance the performance by keeping more airplanes on the ground,” he told the BBC.
Analysis: Ryanair denies staff exodusBy Joe Lynam
Ryanair is the largest airline in Europe and the king of low cost carriers.
But the new kid on the block that is no-frills is Norwegian. They have grown exponentially in the last three decades and plan to establish a foundation in Dublin – Ryanair yard.
To rub it in, they boasted so far this season of taking on 140 Ryanair pilots.
Furthermore Norwegian explained that the newly hired pilots could get, unlike most new Ryanair pilots, a full time job (compared to contractor status) and a competitive salary.
Ryanair denies that there’s been an exodus of staff and that that might lie to ground up to 50 flights a day.
It says it has cancelling hundreds of flights because of air traffic control issues and personnel.
What rights do passengers have?
The compensation rules for cancelled flights are as follows:
Passengers are entitled to help and reimbursement, if the disturbance was within an airline’s control.
Airlines have to offer complete refunds or rebookings for a flight cancelled at short notice.
In addition, passengers can claim compensation.
Cancellation amounts are: 250 euros (#218) for short-haul, 440 euros (#384) for medium-haul and 600 euros (#523) for long-haul.
Passengers who reach their destination can be paid depending on the duration of delay and flights.